Nintendo's next console, the Nintendo Switch, raised a number of eyebrows when it was revealed in a brief three minute trailer last week, but a number of questions still remain. What will the console's price be? Does it have a touch screen? What games will be available for the console at launch?
Thanks to a recent Nintendo financial briefing, gamers now have a few answers, including the Nintendo Switch's availability at launch. According to the Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki, Nintendo CEO said during the briefing that roughly 2 million Nintendo Switch units would be shipped by the end of this fiscal year (which is March 31, 2017). The Nintendo Switch is slated to release in March.
For reference, that means Nintendo will be shipping out a million fewer Switch units at launch that of the Wii U, which saw more than 3 million units shipped to stores in its launch month. That means simply walking into a store to find one of the machines might not be a possibility, and preorders for the console will likely be the only way to guarantee snagging one come the console's still unspecific launch date in March. It seems Nintendo may be playing it safe after greatly overestimating the performance of the Wii U and doesn't want to overproduce until it sees demand is there. Overall, Nintendo lowered its expected earnings for the financial year by more than 30 billion yen.
But news that the new console might be difficult to find at launch isn't the only interesting tidbit revolving around the Switch to come from the financial briefing. Mochizuki also reports that Nintendo has stated that the Switch won't be sold at a loss. Most video game consoles are sold at a cost cheaper than what they cost to make, with manufacturers hoping to regain that lost ground through software and accessory sales.
That statement makes it seem like the Switch could be more expensive than Nintendo fans might be used to, but Nintendo also says that it is "listening to what consumers expect from us" when setting the price. It seems reasonable that the Switch could clock in at around $400, but Nintendo's comments ultimately make it a little unclear whether fans can expect the machine to cost more or less than the Wii U did at launch with its $350 price point.
It sounds like Nintendo won't be revealing more information about their new console anytime soon, which is a shame. However, Mochizuki reports that Nintendo will be offering chances for players to try out the Switch before launch. The question is when?